We continue our comprehensive survey of the many great pianists who worked in Russia in the Soviet era with the first two discs in the Igumnov School. The bulk of the issues will be divided into 'schools' which represent the three main teachers of this period - Neuhaus, Goldenweiser and Igumnov, - and their pupils. Igumnov was the oldest of the thre great teachers we are considering.
“Yakov Flier was a distinguished pupil of Igumnov, and on this disc plays consistently better than his teacher. The Kabalevsky 24 Preludes have phenomenal élan, and everything is fresh, even if sometimes weird.”
“Revered as an influential teacher at the Moscow Conservatoire, Yakov Flier is also much revered by his fans as one of the greats of the old-school Russian pianists. Flier never achieved the fame of Richter, but is very much in that line. Here the Kabalevsky and Rachmaninov Preludes are especially good examples of Flier’s idiosyncractic power...Flier's generosity and poetic leeway in Chopin's Second Sonata has little to do with present-day severity. His rubato is personal but never excessive… and the entire performance is exceptionally powerful and eloquent.”
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